house – day 59 – the wheels fall off (almost)

I woke up in our hotel room at 4:00 am (exactly 04:00!) and, after an hour’s tossing, turning and going over a thousand house details in my head, I gave in and got up to do something useful. I wrote an email to Chris, responding to his questions about plumbing supplies, then went through a few more task lists. It was painfully slow work as the best connection I could get using the dongle in the hotel room was WAP. averaging about 2.5K. (Yes, I’m too tight to pay hotel prices for broadband.) During breakfast, Chris replied to my email and asked a question about which door was to be used for the shower room. It was going to be easier to show him, as I couldn’t be sure where the door I wanted to use was, so I said to Fiona we should go to the house, before our first appointment of the day (checking the kitchen plans at BenchmarX). In any case, it’s always worth a house visit at the start of the week to talk about upcoming jobs and I’d anticipated we might do that first. We popped down the hill to the house and went through a few items. Chris already had the insulation down on the concrete pad, ready for the floor to be screeded. He was just waiting for a building inspector to turn up, to check on the work so far. After a bit of a chat with everyone, we set off to BenchmarX to discuss the kitchen plans.

The drive to Canterbury took us through some nice wooded areas that were new to us. We’ll have to come back to explore – no time for that right now.

We spent a good hour and a half going through the kitchen plans. In the end, we didn’t change a great deal, but we still managed to put the price up. That seems the way things are right now. After a quick croque Monsieur for lunch, we popped into City Kitchens, to order the kitchen hardware. The people at City Kitchens are incredibly helpful and we quickly got the final list of appliances together. Thanks to a manufacturer’s promotion, the final price came down for a change, despite ordering more stuff . We’ll be getting a top spec dishwasher for half price. We need more orders to go like that.

Next stop was an architectural salvage place to see if I could get replacement hinges for the ones I’d had to butcher with an angle grinder. No joy, I’m sorry to say, but I do now know where to get K2 or K6 phone boxes should I ever need one. Next stop, another bathroom centre, to find towel radiators. We’d spent a good deal of time looking at them online last Saturday, but in the end felt we couldn’t order any as we weren’t sure of their quality. We thought it might be easier to decide if we could see what we might be buying. No such luck, there wasn’t much choice and they were all pricey. We decided to call in at another supplier, that we’d found out about from a radio advert that played during breakfast – proof advertising sometimes works. (The Premier Inn plays Heart FM on the PA – at least it drowns out moaning kids.) I knew the industrial estate where it was located, but I hadn’t spotted this particular showroom before. I’ve seen quite a few of them in the last few weeks. There was plenty of bathroom stuff in this new store, but there’s nothing that we felt would work. This is getting tedious.

On the way to this last store, the 4WD warning light lit up on the dashboard. Shit, that’s all I need – vehicle issues. Leaving the showroom, cautiously we went back to the house. Initially, the light didn’t come on, but after a mile or two there it was again. I’ve not really been happy with the truck since the clutch was changed, there’s been a low growl from the front end since the change and, after the spare wheel was nicked, it’s been feeling very skittish on certain surfaces. Whatever the problem is, it’s bound not to be a cheap fix. We drove over to the house, to get some photos of today’s work. The kitchen floor is now finished, I guess we lost a couple of days getting it done, but things should move on a bit more quickly from now on.

The drive home was a slow, anxious journey, with me jumping at every little change in engine note and ride, but we made it, without any further mishap. Tomorrow, I’ll need to get the truck looked at ASAP – a vehicle is essential right now.

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